At 10:47 AM 8/1/00 -0400, David Clunie wrote:
Hi all

There is play in the inner (not outer) tie rod ends in my 86 928, and I need to replace them.

Checking the catalogs one can get replacement tie rod assemblies (not the entire rack and not just the outer ends), but before I embark on this I have a couple of questions someone might be able to answer:

- removing/replacing the inner tie rod end from seems to require a special tool inserted in the end of a torque wrench that can have its socket head removed and replaced with this tool; does anyone know where one can get this tool or what one can use instead ? I imagine this is going to be difficult to unscrew, and that the torque applied to retighten it is important

- is this possible without removing all the steering gear, i.e.  can one just release the outer tie rod end, remove the boot, unscrew the inner tie rod end and replace same from underneath the car ?

1) You need two large open-end wrenches to do this - a 22 mm (7/8") to counter hold the rack, and a larger one (sorry that I don't remember the size - may be a 27 mm) to turn the inner tie rod ends. The tightening torque is 150 Nm (110 lb/ft), so it will take a good pull to loosen them.
Be CERTAIN to firmly counter hold the rack so as to avoid damage to the pinion gear.

2) Yes.
Safely support the car at a comfortable working height.
Carefully count the number of threads showing on each tie rod at the outer tie rod end, and write these numbers down.
Loosen the lock nuts, and unscrew the tie rods from the tie rod ends.
Remove the rack boots. A small quantity of transmission fluid in the boots is acceptable. More means that the rack leaks, and will need to be replaced eventually. The rack must be kept perfectly clean.
Counter hold the rack and unscrew the inner tie rod ends from the rack.
Replace with new tie rod assemblies, and tighten to 150 Nm (a very hard pull!)
Install new boots.
Screw on lock nuts and screw tie rods into outer tie rod ends to exactly the same depth as the written measurement. (This is a good time to center the rack. Remove the plastic plug on the front of the rack housing opposite where the steering shaft enters. Find the dimple in the rack. When the dimple is centered, the rack is centered. The steering wheel should be straight, and both wheels should be straight ahead.)
Double-check everything for security.
Following instructions available elsewhere, adjust the ride height on all four corners.
Have the car properly aligned without being lifted.

Wally Plumley
928 Specialists